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C Difficile Claims
Recently there has been a vast increase in the prevalence ofhospital acquired infectionsor 'super bugs'. If you or a member of your family have suffered you will understand the stress and anxiety that they cause.
One of the most deadly of these is C Difficile. If you or a member of your family contract C Diff whilst receiving treatment at a hospital, this could lead to a hospital negligence claim.
What Is C Difficile?
C Difficile, C Diff or clostridium Difficile infection, is a strain of hospital super bug. C Difficile causes diarrhoea and can also cause damage to the lining of the bowels. Generally the symptoms are mild and patients suffering from C Difficile recover fully in a matter of days. However, if C Difficile is contracted by a patient already in a weakened condition, it can be much more serious or even potentially fatal. The elderly are particularly at risk from the disease, as are those in hospital having surgery. Although many cases of C Difficile are unavoidable, there are a number of instances when the disease is contracted due to negligence. In cases of suspected negligence you are fully within your rights to make a claim for compensation against the hospital involved.
C Diff is a naturally occurring bacterium found in the gut often in bowels of young babies, which will multiply when the natural balance of bacteria is altered, usually after a course of antibiotics. Of course many patients in hospitals are treated with antibiotics and so are particularly vulnerable to the bug, as are the elderly and people recovering from surgery.
The bug is so dangerous because it has become immune to the effects of antibiotics and is able to survive outside the body for up to 70 days. Very often it lives on dirty floors and around toilets. It is even said to be resistant to some cleaning products. It is thought that patients being shifted from ward to ward because of the shortage of hospital beds and unsanitary hospital facilities are responsible for the prevalence of the bug.
What Are The Symptoms of C Diff?
Mild diarrhoea is the initial symptom, which may pass in a couple of days. However it may lead to more dangerous diseases, severe dehydration and even death.
C Difficile can be treated simply and effectively with a course of antibiotics. In this situation the symptoms are usually mild and there are no lasting effects. However, in some patients there are further symptoms and complications such as fever and abdominal pains. In extreme cases the disease can manifest itself in a form known as pseudomembranous, or antibiotic-associated, colitis. In this form the disease causes severe and lasting damage to the bowel, and in the worst situation can cause the bowel to rupture.
The major problem is that, as with other forms of diarrhoea, C Difficile causes dehydration. In the case of the elderly or someone having major surgery this can be extremely dangerous. Dehydration can lead to extreme illness and in the worst cases be fatal. In this case the patient will need to have fluid replacement therapy alongside the course of antibiotics. This is administered either through a drip being attached to the patient or simply by giving the patient extra fluids orally. Once the fluids have re-entered the system, rapid improvement in the condition of the patient is seen almost immediately.
One of the main ways of stopping the spread of C Difficile is through scrupulous cleanliness. Most hospitals have installed alcohol-based hand wash dispensers throughout the building. These are often found in the entrance to the hospital itself and at connecting doorways between wards. It is important that these are used on a regular basis by everyone entering the hospital, including visitors. Once someone has contracted the disease, they should be moved away from other patients as the disease can move quickly through a ward or hospital wing. If these procedures are not followed and you contract the disease, you should consider making a claim for compensation.
Although the medical profession has a high level of competence generally, there are times when negligence occurs. Nowadays there are many solicitors who specialise in medical negligence cases. If you are planning to make a claim against a hospital for medical negligence, it is important to approach one of these specialists as they will know of cases that have set precedence or that may have a bearing on your own case. They will also be able to offer advice on all aspects of the claim procedure in relation to medical negligence claims. Many of these solicitors tackle cases on a 'no win, no fee' basis.
Can You Make a C Difficile Compensation Claim?
If C Difficile has affected you or your family you need to consider the following factors to determine whether you might be able to make a claim for compensation:
- Was the hospital clean and hygienic whilst you or a family member was a patient there?
- Was there any evidence of steam cleaning at the hospital - thought to be the most effective way of killing C Diff
- Did doctors and nurses wear disposable gloves and aprons, discarded after treating each patient?
- Were any patients showing symptoms isolated to prevent further spread of the bug?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you could be eligible to compensation for medical negligence as a result of the hospital not fulfilling its responsibility to you and your family's health.
Of course this is an extremely complex issue. However, the highly qualified 1stClaims specialist solicitors are on hand to guide you through the legal process and ensure that you are duly compensated if you have been the victim of negligence.
Would You Like An Explanation Of Your Options?
We understand that you may well be confused about the treatment you have received (or lack of it) and confused about your options. This is why we offer you a free, no obligation discussion with one of our medical negligence solicitors. Simply call us on 0800 2888 693 (from a mobile click to call: 01275 774 557) or complete our C Diff Medical Negligence enquiry form to be advised of your options including all funding choices available to you. The initial opinion is completely free of charge. For more information on making a medical negligence claim click here.
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What Happens Next?
Complete a Quick Claim Enquiry and this is what you will benefit from:
- Advice on whether you can make a claim and how the claims process works from a specialist claims solicitor;
- Compensation - what can you claim for and how much are you likely to receive;
- Costs - whether you will qualify for a no win no fee claim or details of other methods for funding your claim; and
- An explanation of what will happen next if you decide to carry on and make a claim (how your solicitor will take care of everything for you).
All on a free, no obligation Quick Claim Enquiry Advice Call.
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